Best Soundbars 2019

Product Use case Rating
Sonos Playbase Best Overall 4.5
Vizio SB2920 Best Value 4.5
Yamaha YAS-108 Best Under $200 4.5
Polk MagniFi Mini Best Small Soundbar 4.5
Sonos Beam Best Smart Soundbar 4
Samsung HW-N850 Best Atmos Soundbar 4.5

Getting a soundbar for your home-theater setup gives you the best of both worlds: You don't have to settle for the speakers built in to your smart TV — which we've found to be consistently lackluster — but you also get to enjoy quality audio without the cost (or clutter) of a traditional speaker setup.

After testing dozens of the most popular soundbars on the market, we've found the Sonos Playbase to be the best soundbar overall for those willing to spend a premium, thanks to its rich sound and versatility as a home theater speaker. For those on a budget, the Vizio SB2920 ($78.99/£100/AU$150) tops our list of the best cheap soundbars under $100.

Whether you want to get immersed in the hottest new video games or are seeking a rich Dolby Atmos soundbar for your favorite Netflix TV shows or movies, here are the best soundbars to buy right now.

Latest News and Updates (April 2019)

  • Samsung has unveiled its HW-Q70R and HW-Q60R soundbars, which can adjust their settings in real-time based on what's on your screen thanks to Samsung's new Adaptive Sound Mode feature. Both models will be available in April.

How We Test Soundbars

When testing soundbars, we play range of media — including movies, music and games — in order to evaluate overall sound quality. We also test any companion software that may come with a soundbar, and factor in how easy it is to set up and use each device.

Other features we consider include a soundbar's inputs, outputs and ability to be wall mounted, all of which determine how well it will work with your home entertainment setup. We also take into account each soundbar's wattage, its supported audio channels and whether it includes a subwoofer — all factors that greatly affect how each speaker will sound in your living room.

What is Dolby Atmos?

More and more soundbars are embracing Dolby Atmos, which is a surround sound technology designed to simulate the immersive 3D audio you'd get from a movie theater. The big difference between Atmos and traditional surround sound is that you'll hear sound move up and down and not just side-to-side, allowing you to get extra immersed when, say, a car flies overhead in an action movie. There are already lots of soundbars that support Atmos, including the LG SJ9, Sony HT-ST5000, and Yamaha YSP-5600. For more on the technology, check out our complete guide to Dolby Atmos.

What Soundbars Cost

You can get a decent soundbar for less than $100 (£100/AU$150) as long as you're not expecting much in the way of special features. Stepping up to the $200-$300 range will get you extras such as a subwoofer and virtual surround sound, though you'll spending closer to $500 (£500/AU$650) if you want fancy extras like Hi-Fi audio and 4K passthrough. Dolby Atmos soundbars can be found for quite cheap now, but higher end models loaded with bells and whistles can easily cost you thousands.

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Best TVs
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  • anchoragedj
    Gotta tell ya, it's spendy but incredible sound. Both 'musically' and for theater/surround reflection. The B&W Panorama2 improved on the original significantly. HDMI inputs, including a forth 'bi-directional' HDMI connector so your tv can be rerouted through the soundbar itself. Sub out and you're set in a medium, even large living room. While the Bose is an excellent bar, the Pano is a MONSTER in comparison..IMHO, and as always your mileage may vary;)
  • Colin Lee
    I can see I need to do more research...
  • Heshacherrr
    I am very curious why there are no review of any of the new Bose soundbars (the Cinemate 15, 120 or 130). I was considering buying one of them but found absolutely no reviews of them.
  • Martinaia
    Sony is best. Beats overrated bose easy!
  • zerk11
    Creative SoundBlaster ROAR for $149 is the best out there.
  • watchingcrow
    Hey Tom's,
    I just bought a Toshiba 40" 1080 with a DTS (digital output) and am trying to upgrade somewhat but someone once told me it is a lot easier to spend to little money than too much. Anyway, 2.1 is attractive for a bunch of reasons but I read that that was not surround sound and with only two speakers was really for listening to music. So I started looking at the 5.1 don't really need the woofer if there is one built in but what I am most interested in the having the "center speakers" as my wife and i have trouble with speech/dialog etc and have read that that goes through the center speakers and you can increase the volume there and have better speach recognition. So, anyway, i see that you are only recommending the 2.1 systems here and so it looks like you don't agree with the need for 5.1
  • rexter
    There no mention of Niro or even Nakamichi
  • iam2thecrowe
    best "sound bar" is a pair of stereo speakers.........seriously just a small bookshelf speaker on each side of your tv if you don't have room for something large. I'm sorry one of those people still finding it hard to believe how anything in "bar" form takes off so easily, even if its crap. I find it hard to believe the Bose is a top pick considering most audio sites gave it an average rating and poor value for money. Did you actually review the Bose system? or just pop it in the article because of the name or amazon reviews?
  • Runamok81
    Can't believe no one reviews the Phillips Fidelio HTL 7180. Wireless sub AND wireless surrounds. $350.
  • yorich
    Goldenear Super Cinema 3d 999.99 I've ever spent. Sounds better than any of this crap here, looks fantastic, couldn't be happier. This list is a joke
  • mamiefurax
    Just weighing in a $1,000 "best gaming sound bar" vs a $200 one. Hmpf. I'm not a millionaire gamer.
  • Willie0
    I would like to agree about Sony. It has been my experience and its really good to use than other brands.
  • mrerse1
    I thought I loved my Sony, until I heard my friends new Sound Appeal Soundbar with wireless subwoofer. I am ashamed to admit that it puts mine to shame for only a few bucks more- uughh . If it was in my budget I would pick the Golden Ear Super Cinema , great soundbar that I demoed at a local audio store.